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SCOTUS aren't morons....today.Follow

#1 Jun 25 2014 at 1:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/25/justice/supreme-court-cell-phones/

Washington (CNN) -- The Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously ruled that police may not search the cell phones of criminal suspects upon arrest without a warrant -- a sweeping endorsement for privacy rights.

By a 9-0 vote, the justices said smart phones and other electronic devices were not in the same category as wallets, briefcases, and vehicles -- all currently subject to limited initial examination by law enforcement.

Generally such searches are permitted if there is "probable cause" that a crime has been committed, to ensure officers' safety and prevent destruction of evidence.

Criminal suspects in Massachusetts and California were separately convicted, in part, after phone numbers, text messages, photos and addresses obtained from personal electronic devices linked them to drug and gang activity.

Those cases were appealed to the high court, giving it an opportunity to re-enter the public debate over the limits of privacy rights, with a focus on the ubiquitous cellphone and its vast storage of information and video.

The appeals were not related to the recent mass surveillance of phone metadata by the National Security Agency, which has raised similar constitutional concerns.

"The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought," the ruling said. "Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple — get a warrant."


Yay!
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#2 Jun 25 2014 at 1:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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As long as it can be confiscated upon arrest. Destruction of evidence and all that.
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#3 Jun 25 2014 at 1:49 PM Rating: Good
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All nine in agreement? Smiley: eek
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#4 Jun 25 2014 at 1:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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That was my first thought as well. Smiley: lol

Good to see we still agree on some things I guess.
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#5 Jun 25 2014 at 2:45 PM Rating: Decent
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Elinda wrote:
All nine in agreement? Smiley: eek

Haven't there been more than a few unanimous decisions handed out recently?

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/28/us/supreme-court-issuing-more-unanimous-rulings.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/06/25/despite-hard-cases-supreme-court-displays-remarkable-degree-of-unanimity/



Edited, Jun 25th 2014 3:45pm by BrownDuck
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#6 Jun 25 2014 at 5:10 PM Rating: Good
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Hmm, I don't see tablets, phablets, laptops, notebooks and myriad other devices mentioned...loophole for the win?
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#7 Jun 25 2014 at 5:29 PM Rating: Good
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angrymnk wrote:
Hmm, I don't see tablets, phablets, laptops, notebooks and myriad other devices mentioned...loophole for the win?


Hmmm. I haven't bothered looking at the actual records, but:

Quote:
By a 9-0 vote, the justices said smart phones and other electronic devices were not in the same category as wallets, briefcases, and vehicles -- all currently subject to limited initial examination by law enforcement.
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#8 Jun 25 2014 at 11:21 PM Rating: Good
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More good political news! I'm happy
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#9 Jun 26 2014 at 6:42 AM Rating: Good
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Other SCOTUS rulings this week:

- EPA can regulate CO2. (Smiley: clap).
- Copyright laws DO prevent Aereo's little antenna from freely re-broadcasting tv content.

Still to come is the Hobby Lobby case - that was the one where the corporation was claiming their 1st Amendment rights were being violated because ACA mandates that their employee health insurance provides birth control. I think the result will be something like a determination that corporations DO have protections under the 1st amendment, but the ACA mandate does not infringe on those protections.




Edited, Jun 26th 2014 2:43pm by Elinda
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#10 Jun 26 2014 at 7:43 AM Rating: Good
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BrownDuck wrote:
Haven't there been more than a few unanimous decisions handed out recently?
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#11 Jun 26 2014 at 10:32 AM Rating: Excellent
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SCotUS decided unanimously to pretty much eliminate the president's constitutional power regarding recess appointments. Technically it still exists but a single guy coming into the Senate chamber and saying "We're in session, now we're not!" twice a week is sufficient to block it.
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#12 Jun 26 2014 at 11:05 AM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah, that's for the best.
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#13 Jun 26 2014 at 12:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
"We're in session, now we're not!"
More jobs should be like that.
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#14 Jun 26 2014 at 12:43 PM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
"We're in session, now we're not!"
More jobs should be like that.
It's peace time. Take a break.
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#15 Jun 26 2014 at 2:31 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
SCotUS decided unanimously to pretty much eliminate the president's constitutional power regarding recess appointments. Technically it still exists but a single guy coming into the Senate chamber and saying "We're in session, now we're not!" twice a week is sufficient to block it.
Presidents have been abusing the recess appointment power for a long time. The decision didn't even touch on the fact that the appointments were made to vacancies that happened way before the recess (the vacancy needs to have occurred during the recess). So, that's still alive it seems.

I'm hoping for a situation where the majority in the senate wants to recess because the minority has enough votes to pass something the majority doesn't want passed, yet also wants to be in session to prevent the President from making a recess appointment. I know Senate procedure is a lot more complicated than that and it will not likely happen, but if it ever did it would be delicious.

lolgaxe wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
"We're in session, now we're not!"
More jobs should be like that.
Get appointed to a local zoning board out in the burbs and you won't even need to do that to collect about 25-30k a year.

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#16 Jun 26 2014 at 7:58 PM Rating: Good
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By definition, the minority party can't pass things the majority doesn't want passed.
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#17 Jun 26 2014 at 8:51 PM Rating: Good
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Timelordwho wrote:
By definition, the minority party can't pass things the majority doesn't want passed.
You're raining on my flight of fancy.

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#18 Jun 26 2014 at 10:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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#19 Jun 27 2014 at 7:28 AM Rating: Good
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cynyck wrote:
Get appointed to a local zoning board out in the burbs and you won't even need to do that to collect about 25-30k a year.
I'd probably go out of my way to bulldoze all suburban neighborhoods.
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#20 Jun 27 2014 at 7:56 AM Rating: Good
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That'd be stupid. Then all those people are going to move into the city, and become your neighbours.
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#21 Jun 27 2014 at 8:02 AM Rating: Good
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Could rebuild the bulldozed areas into real places to live and they can stay there.
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#22 Jun 27 2014 at 9:18 AM Rating: Decent
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Another co-op city?
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#23 Jun 27 2014 at 9:20 AM Rating: Excellent
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Walmartville
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#24 Jun 27 2014 at 9:24 AM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
Walmartville

A.K.A. a trailer-park.
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#25 Jun 27 2014 at 9:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
Walmartville

A.K.A. a trailer-park.
Manufactured housing is simply an efficient way to contain the unwashed masses.

Also, obligatory link... Smiley: rolleyes

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#26 Jun 27 2014 at 10:49 AM Rating: Good
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More reason for the bulldozers.
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#27 Jun 27 2014 at 3:28 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
SCotUS decided unanimously to pretty much eliminate the president's constitutional power regarding recess appointments. Technically it still exists but a single guy coming into the Senate chamber and saying "We're in session, now we're not!" twice a week is sufficient to block it.


On the flip side though, it's kinda absurd for the president to claim that a 3 day weekend counts as a "recess" for purposes of recess appointments. A little bit of common sense should (yeah, I know) apply here. The intent of the recess appointment is to allow for appointments if/when the Senate is unable to advise and consent on the appointment for a long period of time. It is *not* intended to be a method to bypass approval of a nominee entirely. In these particular cases, the president had plenty of opportunities to submit his appointments to the Senate if he wanted to. He choose not to because he believed the Senate would not approve them.

Regardless of where you fall on the appointees themselves, or the Senate approval process, partisan politics, or what have you, using the recess appointment process was absolutely wrong in this case. And it's good that the SCOTUS recognized this.
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#28 Jun 27 2014 at 3:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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Realistically the whole idea of a recess appointment was becoming obsolete once the telegraph and railroads connected everyone anyway. It's almost silly in our modern time where basically every representative can make their way to the floor with a few hours of notice.

Edited, Jun 27th 2014 3:02pm by someproteinguy
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#29 Jun 27 2014 at 4:29 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
In these particular cases, the president had plenty of opportunities to submit his appointments to the Senate if he wanted to. He choose not to because he believed the Senate would not approve them.

That's been how it's been used for at least the last 70+ years.

Anyway, I'm not terribly upset about it (for example, I've spent more time thinking what a shitty appointment Bolton was versus thinking how awesome those Labor Relations board guys I can't name are) but thought it was a noteworthy bit of Justicin' given that it directly restricted a Constitutionally listed privilege of the office.
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#30 Jun 27 2014 at 7:05 PM Rating: Decent
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Regardless of where you fall on the appointees themselves, or the Senate approval process, partisan politics, or what have you, using the recess appointment process was absolutely wrong in this case. And it's good that the SCOTUS recognized this.

I don't think anyone seriously felt otherwise, but the last administration so expanded Executive power, that there was sort of an obligation to try.
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#31 Jun 27 2014 at 7:32 PM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:
Regardless of where you fall on the appointees themselves, or the Senate approval process, partisan politics, or what have you, using the recess appointment process was absolutely wrong in this case. And it's good that the SCOTUS recognized this.

I don't think anyone seriously felt otherwise, but the last administration so expanded Executive power, that there was sort of an obligation to try.


I assume by "last administration", you really mean "the current administration". Did Bush ever make a recess appointment during the pro-forma sessions instituted by Reid? If not, then the expansion of executive power falls squarely on Obama's shoulders. Using an existing and established power in the same way it had always been used (even if more often) isn't an "expansion" of power. Using that power in a new way constitutes an expansion of that power. Doubly so if this new way happens to bypass an assumed check to that very power (which was precisely the case here).
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#32 Jun 27 2014 at 7:37 PM Rating: Good
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English doesn't work the same way in that imaginary world you live in, does it?
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#33 Jun 27 2014 at 7:44 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
In these particular cases, the president had plenty of opportunities to submit his appointments to the Senate if he wanted to. He choose not to because he believed the Senate would not approve them.

That's been how it's been used for at least the last 70+ years.


With the key difference that they actually waited for the Senate to be in recess.

Yes. I get that the procedural tricks used nowadays effectively prevent the Senate from ever being in recess (well, except actually between sessions). But you can thank Harry Reid for that, if you're looking to place blame. Reid used this tactic to prevent Bush from using the recess appointment during the last two years of Bush's administration (which constituted a whole session of congress, so effectively shut down Bush for that entire period of time). Obama, on the other hand, has been in office through 3 (now) session changes. Which gets us right back to the point that he could have done this without violating the Constitution if he'd really wanted to. He choose to do this the way he did. And, just like the whole fake filibuster argument the left loves to parrot, this is another one of those cases where it's not really about partisan divide, but about Democrats in congress not wanting to be on record standing for an unpopular nominee.

Obama didn't do these particular recess appointments because the GOP was blocking things, but because the Dems didn't want to have to vote on them. I know that you're playing up the "I've never heard of these guys" angle, but they were very unpopular and controversial picks which were designed to deliberately unbalance the institutions they were assigned to (or create/lead an unpopular one in one case). Obama was saving his party members from having to deal with these issue in their next elections.

Quote:
Anyway, I'm not terribly upset about it (for example, I've spent more time thinking what a shitty appointment Bolton was versus thinking how awesome those Labor Relations board guys I can't name are) but thought it was a noteworthy bit of Justicin' given that it directly restricted a Constitutionally listed privilege of the office.


IIRC (and to be honest I'm a bit hazy on the details cause it's been so long), these positions were left vacant because they are normally occupied by a pair at a time (one liberal and one conservative). But the Obama administration wanted to appoint just liberals. Which is where the opposition came from. And also why they wanted to do this as quietly as possible and while providing as much political cover as possible. While these positions may not be as high profile as others, they do broadly affect a whole range of domestic policy issues (labor, right?). It was very clear that this was about a partisan power grab that required bypassing the normal rules in place to accomplish. It's why the Right made such a stink about these appointments in the first place, and why this ruling is such a huge blow to the Obama administration.

It makes the rulings made by these individuals over the last couple years invalid. Which is a huge deal. Now, if we can just get something similar to happen in the DoJ...

Edited, Jun 27th 2014 6:46pm by gbaji
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#34 Jun 27 2014 at 7:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Yes. I get that the procedural tricks used nowadays effectively prevent the Senate from ever being in recess (well, except actually between sessions). But you can thank Harry Reid for that, if you're looking to place blame.

I'm not, really. You seem really jazzed up about it though.
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why this ruling is such a huge blow to the Obama administration

Is it? I thought the board is currently filled with regularly appointed people at this time. And with filibustering abilities on appointments now curtailed, it's unlikely that he'd need to run more recess appointments during his term (he'd either have the votes or a GOP majority in the Senate anyway).
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#35 Jun 27 2014 at 8:08 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Smasharoo wrote:
Regardless of where you fall on the appointees themselves, or the Senate approval process, partisan politics, or what have you, using the recess appointment process was absolutely wrong in this case. And it's good that the SCOTUS recognized this.

I don't think anyone seriously felt otherwise, but the last administration so expanded Executive power, that there was sort of an obligation to try.


I assume by "last administration", you really mean "the current administration". Did Bush ever make a recess appointment during the pro-forma sessions instituted by Reid? If not, then the expansion of executive power falls squarely on Obama's shoulders. Using an existing and established power in the same way it had always been used (even if more often) isn't an "expansion" of power. Using that power in a new way constitutes an expansion of that power. Doubly so if this new way happens to bypass an assumed check to that very power (which was precisely the case here).
It has not been used in the same way it had always been used. It has been expanded many times over the years. For instance, as I noted above, it only applies to vacancies that happen during the recess"The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.". But no one ever took it to the Supremes before because the people on the down side always knew they would one day be on the up side and the power would be theirs.

However, we have now reached the point where some people seem bent on burning down the house because they cannot get control of the TV remote. So off we go to the Supreme Court asking it to stop the abuse. Well, now the ruling will apply to all, not just to the NLRB appointments. And, as Joph noted, Mr. Bush used it to push through a somewhat higher profile appointment, among others. This ruling amounts to a Pyrrhic victory, in my opinion.

Claiming that the power has been expanded only by Mr. Obama is myopic and surely a partisan view. Claiming that Mr. Bush did not abuse the power is equally so. It has not only been Democrat Presidents who have used this power and expanded it. If everyone could have agreed to play nicely, they could have avoided having the Supremes issue a ruling on this. As a result of the childish "he got more than me" behavior, we now have the highest court in the land issuing a decision that a recess is something like 10 days, but definitely more than 3 days.

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#36 Jun 30 2014 at 7:51 AM Rating: Good
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cynyck wrote:
Claiming that the power has been expanded only by Mr. Obama is myopic and surely a partisan view.
Don't be absurd, only liberals can be partisan.
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#37 Jun 30 2014 at 8:50 AM Rating: Excellent
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Hobby Lobby wins. They don't have to cover contraception in their employee health plans.

Sounds like the decision lies within the 1993 Freedom Restoration Act which:
SCOTUSblog wrote:
provides that the government 'shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion' unless that burden is the least restrictive means to further a compelling governmental interest,


I'm less concerned about the contraception coverage than I am about setting precedence for a corp to be further endowed with the same rights as individuals.
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#38 Jun 30 2014 at 8:56 AM Rating: Decent
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Hobby Lobby wins.

Unsurprising but idiotic 5-4 decision. You know it's a bought and paid for BS decision when every opinion is couched in "now this only applies to this one specific case, there's no actual foundational concept that makes sense here..."

Edited, Jun 30th 2014 10:56am by Smasharoo
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#39 Jun 30 2014 at 9:04 AM Rating: Excellent
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I liked how the argument to rule for Hobby Lobby was that it was for a specific type of contraceptive.
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#40 Jun 30 2014 at 9:09 AM Rating: Excellent
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I really should start my own religion at some point, get in on this gravy train while the gettin' is good.

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I liked how the argument to rule for Hobby Lobby was that it was for a specific type of contraceptive.
Free condoms for everyone! Smiley: yippee
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#41 Jun 30 2014 at 4:27 PM Rating: Default
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cynyck wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Using an existing and established power in the same way it had always been used (even if more often) isn't an "expansion" of power. Using that power in a new way constitutes an expansion of that power. Doubly so if this new way happens to bypass an assumed check to that very power (which was precisely the case here).
It has not been used in the same way it had always been used. It has been expanded many times over the years.


Sure. But not by George W. Bush. Bush did not use the recess appointment in any way not previously used by earlier presidents. If the term "expansion" is to have any meaning at all in this context, we must acknowledge that Bush did not expand executive power with regards to recess appointments. Quite the contrary, Bush was faced with a "new" process introduced by Senator Reid, in which someone would just gavel a session open while the majority of the Senate was out so as to prevent there from being a formal recess despite no actual business being done, but still did not do anything to go around it. He could have, but chose not to.

Obama, when faced with the same tactic, chose to expand executive power by deciding that a 3 day gap constituted a recess and he could appoints folks during that time. He very clearly did what Bush did not. We can argue about why he did it, and can agree with or oppose that decision for any reason we want, but at the end of the day Bush did not do this when faced with that obstacle and Obama did. It's therefore incredibly disingenuous to claim that Obama was just doing the same thing that previous presidents had done. It's even more disingenuous to specifically single out Bush as an example of someone who was just as bad (or even worse!) on this issue. He wasn't. Numbers of uses of the power isn't the issue. How and when you use it is.

Quote:
However, we have now reached the point where some people seem bent on burning down the house because they cannot get control of the TV remote.


One could argue that Obama's decision to violate the constitution rather than work with Congress better fits that analogy. Lots of past presidents have managed to deal with a Congress not made up 100% of their own party. Most presidents have had to do that. This president seems utterly unable to accomplish anything unless every single person in the government is "on his side". That speaks volumes about him IMO. And the ruling from the court was more about slapping him on the wrist for failing to find ways to deal with that division other than playing roughshod with the constitution.

I'll also repeat my earlier point that most of this is smokescreen anyway. The Democrats control the Senate. I'll fully admit to not being an expert on every Senate rule (cause who is really?), but it seems to me that this whole business was an unnecessary "crisis" that could have been avoided via normal procedural practices. The Dems collectively choose to use this route to do things instead.


Quote:
Claiming that the power has been expanded only by Mr. Obama is myopic and surely a partisan view.


No previous president has ever used recess appointments in the way Obama did. It's neither partisan nor myopic to say that this represented an expansion of executive power with regard to recess appointments. I'm honestly kinda scratching my head as to how anyone could think otherwise. The people being partisan are those denying that this did represent an expansion, since it clearly was (I'm assuming the only reason one would deny this is for partisan reasons, but I suppose it's possible some could just be plain misinformed or something).


Quote:
Claiming that Mr. Bush did not abuse the power is equally so.


The question was which use of the recess appointment represented an "expansion" of executive power. You're introducing a slightly different term. How about we stick with the same one for both so we can make an apples to apples comparison?


Quote:
If everyone could have agreed to play nicely, they could have avoided having the Supremes issue a ruling on this.


Again, this point applies most directly to Obama himself. He's the one who could not figure out any other way to get people appointed to positions he wanted/needed to fill. Magically, other presidents have managed to figure out how to do this without declaring that 3 days constitutes a recess. Ergo, we can conclude that this is a failing of Obama, and not of Congress, much less the constitution itself.
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#42 Jun 30 2014 at 4:38 PM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:
Hobby Lobby wins.

Unsurprising but idiotic 5-4 decision.


What's idiotic is that it wasn't a 9-0 decision. Kinda getting obvious that there are 4 justices who don't care about the constitution, but only about helping push forward the liberal agenda. There's absolutely no question that this mandate violated the 1st amendment. Or shouldn't have been.

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You know it's a bought and paid for BS decision when every opinion is couched in "now this only applies to this one specific case, there's no actual foundational concept that makes sense here..."


Uh huh. Some of us recognized that the court created this very problem with the horrifically bad decision on the mandate itself a couple years ago. Had they ruled correctly on that case, there would be no reason to tap dance around with finding justifications for rulings like this one (and others that are still to come). By allowing the mandate to stand at all they put in place a condition where there will be an endless list of different group of people, businesses, organizations, corporations, etc that will each say "what about this case?".

It puts the court in the uncomfortable position of having to rule on which religious beliefs under which circumstances are sufficient to justify an exemption to the law. We should not only be protected from being forced to do something we don't want to do by our government if it violates our religious beliefs and relying on that as the means to exemption is going to have negative ramifications for a long time to come.

Hell, as an Atheist, you should realize the problem with this whole process. Our legal system has basically said that a hard felt belief has more weight if it is a religious belief than a non-religious belief. So if you, as an Atheist believe that you should not have to do something, our laws now say "sorry, you have no rights to not be forced to do something you don't want to". But if a Theist says "that's against my religion", he gets a exemption. That's a terrible way to do things. What we should be saying is that the government can't force people to do things they don't want to do. Period. It should not matter why someone doesn't want to do something. It should always be their right not to have to do it.


The only hope we have is that enough of these cases will appear before the court that somewhere along the line a light bulb will go off and the court will realize how foolish their earlier ruling was and reverse it. Until then, this sort of thing will continue (and arguably get worse).

Edited, Jun 30th 2014 3:51pm by gbaji
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#43 Jun 30 2014 at 5:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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I considered replying to your post, but then I decided to take the high road and just laugh at how astonishingly poorly you understand the law.
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#44 Jun 30 2014 at 7:52 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
What we should be saying is that the government can't force people to do things they don't want to do. Period. It should not matter why someone doesn't want to do something. It should always be their right not to have to do it.

Gbaji of the Eastern Nomads, Vanguard against the basic tenets of civilization.
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#45 Jun 30 2014 at 7:54 PM Rating: Excellent
I wish smash had taken the low road personally.
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#46 Jun 30 2014 at 8:36 PM Rating: Good
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Aripyanfar wrote:
One day your tears will become doves.

I've missed you Ari.

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#47 Jun 30 2014 at 8:41 PM Rating: Good
Skelly Poker Since 2008
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Quote:
Uh huh. Some of us recognized that the court created this very problem with the horrifically bad decision on the mandate itself a couple years ago. Had they ruled correctly on that case, there would be no reason to tap dance around with finding justifications for rulings like this one (and others that are still to come). By allowing the mandate to stand at all they put in place a condition where there will be an endless list of different group of people, businesses, organizations, corporations, etc that will each say "what about this case?".
The court created this problem with this ruling. They just gave an 'entity' a religious privilege. Not the end of the world itself, I mean letting old man shaman legally smoke his peyote probably isn't going to impact the market place.

Blaming the ACA is a cop-out.
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#48 Jun 30 2014 at 9:58 PM Rating: Good
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Hmm, does it all mean I can open Gale Inc and claim that my religion forbids me paying taxes, or do I need to make some people die for it first like in a good old fashioned cult before it can qualify as a religion?
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#49 Jun 30 2014 at 10:14 PM Rating: Good
gbaji wrote:
No previous president has ever used recess appointments in the way Obama did.
Yes; no other president was quite as black while bending the Constitution.

Irritating to your ilk, I know.
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#50 Jul 01 2014 at 5:58 AM Rating: Good
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
No previous president has ever used recess appointments in the way Obama did.
Yes; no other president was quite as black liberal while bending the Constitution.

Irritating to your ilk, I know.

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#51 Jul 01 2014 at 7:22 AM Rating: Good
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Friar Bijou wrote:
Yes; no other president was quite as black while bending the Constitution.
That's rude. It's just a coincidence that problems and issues that have been going on for decades, if not centuries, are suddenly such huge issues during this specific administration.
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